Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Something Worth Fighting For April 30, 2012

Filed under: Bible — Amy Scott @ 9:31 pm

Here is the devotional from the second day our family ladies retreat. We had a powerful time praying each other on Saturday morning. I was honored and blessed to be in the room with such great women as we sought the Lord’s favor on each others lives. Here is hoping that you find the strength to walk into your own Promised Land!

Read Numbers 13:1-2, 17-33, 14:1-3, 6-9

Are you ready for battle?

This was the fateful moment that set the Israelites on a 40 year long walk through the wilderness. I can’t imagine being Joshua or Caleb (the only two who would see the Promised Land from the older generation). 40 years seems like a lot of wasted time when the mission of God was close at hand. They saw the Promised Land. They knew what it had to offer. However, because of the sins of the people, the mission that had been on their hearts since they left Egypt was now on hold. It must have seemed like forever as they waited.

I can’t help but look at the story from the perspective of the other 10 scouts. They all knew going into this trip that God had promised to give them the land. It was land what Abraham had journeyed to long ago. They had deep roots here even if it had been a while since their last visit. I’m not really sure what they expected to find. Part of me thinks they expected God to throw a big welcome home party for them. Upon entering the land they would find homes with the keys in the door, lights on, cleaned and cleared of all personal items such as idols. As we all know this wasn’t the case. The inhabitants of the land were strong, healthy and large. This wasn’t just any enemy. It really was an unfair battle. The Israelites felt weak in comparison, but they underestimated their number one resource: God! As a result, they wasted a lot of time. Time that they could never get back and for the older generation a promise they would never see fulfilled in their lifetime.

We all have a Promised Land. It’s the picture of God’s best for our lives. Often we assume the Promised Land comes with no battles and fights. We assume that God will just hand over the keys and we’ll walk right into it. However, life is seldom like that. The best things in life are worth fighting for. Sometimes I view struggles and set-backs as a way of God telling me this wasn’t for me. I wonder how many Promised Land experiences I’ve missed out on because I wasn’t willing to fight through it and keep going. A lot times the struggles look like giants. We see the odds and we know that they are not in our favor. The enemy is armed and we let fear stop us from going forward.

From the beginning, God told the Israelites that he was going to be with them. He told them he would give them the land. Instead of fighting for the promise, they wanted to turn around and head back to Egypt. Truthfully, it’s easier to stay in our slavery than fight for our freedom. When we resign ourselves to the fact that this how it has always been and this is how it will always be, we sell ourselves short of God’s best. Yes, fighting the battle will take effort. It will hurt. There will be moments when you want to retreat and accept the old way of life, but that would a waste. It would be like turning back into the wilderness on the cusp of the Promised Land.

When the Israelites finally made it the Promised Land, they did not fight their battles alone. God was with them. We can see that even at their first battle in Jericho the Commander of the Lord’s Army (scholars believe that this was a pre-New-Testament appearance of Jesus – God in human form) was there in person giving instruction to Joshua. The Israelites had success and God was fighting for them when they were dedicated to the cause and serving him wholeheartedly.

Just the same, we must not be afraid to claim the promises that God has made in our lives. If he has called us than he will equip us so we can accomplish our calling.  Even if we don’t feel battle ready, all we have to do is remember that the Lord is fighting for us. The heavy lifting really isn’t on our shoulders, it’s on God’s. However, we must be active in claiming our Promised Land. Even though it’s up to God, we have to give feet to our faith and live it out.  Don’t give up on your Promised Land because there is a battle ahead. Some things are worth fighting for and with God on your side you will see victory!

 

 

Another Weekend Away April 29, 2012

Filed under: Bible,Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 6:51 pm

I’ve returned from another weekend away at the Oregon Coast. This time I got to hang out with my family for the weekend. The Scott/Reid/Carroll/Smith crew spent time together laughing, crying, praying, playing, crafting, walking, shopping, and eating together. This year my sis-in-law, Beckie, and my cousin-in-law, Cori, and I took over the planning. I offered to do the devotional time. It was an honor to pray for each of the ladies on our trip and share with them what I felt God laying on my heart. I thought I would share with you our devotional message from Friday evening:

Read Deuteronomy 6

God Moments and Spiritual Storytelling:

This is one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament. It calls us to be story tellers and remember what God has done for us. It’s not just enough to remember in our own quiet moments, but it calls us to be vocal and to share what the Lord has done in our lives.  We can’t keep it to keep it to ourselves. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so focused on the future that I forget about the past. Now, I wasn’t there when the Red Sea parted and God delivered the Israelites from Egypt (shocker, right?), but I do have my own God Moments where God showed up big in my life. For me these were moments where God re-directed my life or revealed some life-changing truth to my heart. He has helped me conquer hurdles and obstacles. For me, these God Moments are the times when the Red Sea was parted and God showed up in a big way. When these God Moments are happening, it’s easy to see his hand and recognize his work. However, as time distances us from these moments, the details get hazy. Something we couldn’t stop talking about doesn’t come up as often. We move on and get back to life. This was a big problem for the Israelites. They seemed to have the attention span of a child. God provided miracle after miracle and yet they still didn’t trust him. Even with witnessing the awesome hand of the Lord fight for them, they were still derailed by each new struggle.

This is where Spiritual Storytelling comes into play. Since I work with kids, storytelling is a key part of helping them grasp the Word of God. It’s no different really when we grow up and become adults. We still need to have the element of storytelling. We need to be sharing with each other and the coming generations where God showed up in a big way. Here a couple reasons why Spiritual Storytelling is so important:

  • It helps us remember – when we share our stories; it solidifies the lessons learned in our hearts and minds. It keeps the miracle fresh and live.
  • It inspires us and others – I love that feeling of being on the edge of our seat as you listen to a good story. It’s compelling. When we share our stories, we inspire others in the middle of their own struggles. We are living examples that the Lord is good. Also, our stories will help us in the future. All of us will have many God Moments and have many Red Seas. When we remember how he has been faithful before, we can confidently walk into the next struggle knowing he will not let us go there alone.
  • It keeps the legacy alive – There are moments in history that certainly define a family tree. I can think of couples who have broken the cycle of addiction or abuse, people who have made commitments to change the future for the next generation. These are moments that need to be shared. Even in my own life, I can see how my parents made intentional decisions and shared the reasoning with my sister and me. We are a part of their legacy. These major decisions and life altering moments can change a family tree forever. We must celebrate these changes and also guard the next generation from going back to destructive patterns.

I realize that not every environment is safe for sharing our personal stories. Some things will be shared with only a few. However, I think there is value in sharing our stories even if it is with just a few trusted people. You might feel that everyone already knows your story, but you’d be surprised how many actually don’t.  Also storytelling isn’t a onetime thing. It’s repeating the miracles over and over. It’s about writing them down and making alters of remembrance in our lives. Don’t assume that everyone knows or that no one cares. We all miss out when you keep your stories to yourself!

 

Flying By April 26, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 2:06 pm

It seems to happen all the time in casual conversations. Someone says, “I just can’t believe how fast the month is flying by!” I don’t know about you, but I hear this all the time. In fact, I think that very statement could be one of the anthems of my life. Time just always seems to be flying by. Things that were months or weeks out on the calendar are now just around the corner. Once one thing is off the radar, something else comes up to take its place.

Here are I am thinking about how the month of April has just flown by. Easter always takes up a huge chunk of time and energy. Add a church ladies retreat, a family ladies retreat, my sister moving home, planning a sermon for mother’s day, a local area connection dinner for women in ministry, a party for a friend, randomly getting a new king mattress (hand me down, but in great condition) and then needing to spend the day shopping to find all the bedding for it since we’ve never owned a king bed, preparing all the permissions slips for summer which means nailing down all the details for our summer activities, multiple lunch dates with friends, family and mentors, selling two vehicles… should I go on? I could list all things that I didn’t get to this month, that I now feel guilty about  – like not reading enough, not writing enough, not meeting with students enough… No wonder the days fly by! Really??? Anybody else just plain tired after reading all that? I know I am after living it!

Right now I find myself in a situation I find myself in a lot… It’s the day before something, today is the day before my family takes off for a ladies retreat at the Oregon Coast. I’ve been planning and prepping for this weekend away for months. Two weeks ago I was busy preparing the devotional times I hope to share with the ladies, on Tuesday I was printing all my materials and making a pile of all the stuff I need to be remember to bring. Somehow in all the prep and trying to keep up with life that I almost feel too tired to go… This bothers me. My life gets so busy that instead of looking at a weekend away as a blessing, I tend to view it just as another thing I need to do. I should clarify that this has nothing against the event itself or the people who will be attending it with me. It’s good stuff, but more than anything I just want to sit in my pajamas and do nothing. Instead of being social, I want to hide. I’m being real here!

This month was a tricky one for me. I really tried to balance things out, but I don’t feel like succeed. I don’t want my life to just fly by. I don’t want my time to be spent just marking dates off the calendar and throwing myself headlong into the next thing. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but with my schedule, I feel like I live my life a month in advance at times, by the time I actually get to whatever is on the calendar I’m either too tired to enjoy it or my mind is already onto the next month and all things that I need to be doing in prep for that. It’s a vicious cycle!

As I prepare to head into the next big thing on calendar, I pray that God would give me rest. Even in a room full of people, I pray that my little introverted spirit would be refreshed and feel a sense of peace and calm. I don’t want to live life frantically. I don’t want to be so busy that even the good things in my life start to look like things to check of my list. I want to savor the moments! I want to really live in them – not too tired to enjoy them and not thinking about the next big thing I need to be on top of.

I can see how this all comes back to my core value word that I got to add back (it’s really my aspiration word) – balance! I need to find balance. I know that I struggled with this month so much because my core value of balance is out of whack. Even though April has flown by, here is hoping that I can slow it for May. I guess that is the great thing about each new month and really even each new day, we can decide the pace. I’ve been trying to keep up a little too much in April. I know myself and I know I can’t live this pace continually. It’s up to me now to set the tone for May. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fly by as quickly.

 

Not in Kansas anymore! April 25, 2012

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 3:46 pm

Toby and Todd playing in the yard!

This Sunday my sister moved home from Kansas! As one of my closest friends, it was difficult to have her at such a great distance. I’m thankful for technology that allowed us to stay close while she was gone, but having her here in person is so much better. It’s been a fun couple of days as I have gotten to see her each day and make up for lost time! Here are some highlights from the past few days:

  • Our puppies got to meet for the first time! It was fun to meet April’s Todd and see him interact with my Toby. Todd is full of spunk and really loves to kiss me. It was a very exciting meeting on Sunday!
  • April agreed to be my travel buddy for my last drive in the Malibu. Monday evening we drove up to Puyallup so I could sell my Malibu to my cousin. It seemed fitting to spend the last drive with her talking about life and what we see our futures. (For those at are wondering, I feel really good about selling the Malibu and keeping it in the family. I think I worked through all my emotions on Thursday when I thought it would sell and didn’t).
  • We’ve been sharing with each other our new favorite songs and bands. We’ve also spent a good deal of time singing along to old favorites.
  • April brought me beautiful tulips that are now displayed on my table! She’s so sweet!
  • The only 2 people in the theater!

    We went to the movies and were the only two people in the theater! It was fun to talk during the movie and even text and know that I wasn’t going to get in trouble!

  • We laughed while shopping for random things and at dinner together in our favorite Mexican restaurant. It was good to have her back because we laugh so much when we’re together. There is a true goofiness that comes out when I’m with her.
  • We’ve already had a sleepover! She kept me company while my hubby was away at a conference.
  • This morning we both read for a while. April kept reading while I did quiet things around the house. It was so restful to just be ourselves. We enjoy each other’s company even when we’re not talking.

April hasn’t lived this close to me since she got married almost 4 years ago. I’m excited to see our friendship continue to grow. I’m praying for her and Andrew as they settle in to being back in the northwest. This is an exciting time as a family and I’m really happy to have them back!

 

All the Days April 20, 2012

Filed under: Recollections,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:06 pm

April and I being our silly selves in the Malibu - Summer 2005

I’m a very nostalgic person. I have lot of fond memories and they are easily triggered.  This week it has been happening a lot as my husband and I have decided to sell my car. I know it’s not mine, but ours… it was given to us as wedding present from my parents. It was the car that they let me take off to college and in a lot of ways I have bonded with it. So many memories actually take place in the car. It seems strange to think of, but it’s true. I can think of the deep and meaningful conversations I’ve had in this car and the fun moments of being silly and singing at the top of my lungs!

Yesterday I drove my car into work and thought to myself this may be one of the last times I drive it. Turns out later that morning was Jeremy making plans to meet a lady in Tacoma to sell it. I associate driving in the car with my music. I was joking that I wished I had time to make a mixed CD of all the songs I wanted to hear one last time in the Malibu. While no special “Last Drive” CD was made, I spent the ride up to Tacoma popping CDs in and out of the player so I could have the same effect. However, the lady was a no show. I know Jeremy needs this car to sell before he can buy himself a new truck and I had worked myself up trying process the fact the Malibu would soon belong to someone else. It was a little bittersweet – more time with my car, but more waiting for it sell.

I was still in that place of wanting to relive the songs that I love in the car that I love. Truthfully, from my music choices I can tell that my taste in music is stuck right in the early 2000s. I popped in a CD that I loved from high school and rocked out on my way to dinner last night. One of the songs was all about getting ready to leave for college and that last day with all your friends before you all go in different directions. Back in the summer of 2004, I really connected with this song. This was my reality. The song was anthem of my situation.  As I sang along last night, this line of the song really stuck out to me:

All the days we’ve been traveling together, I won’t even look over my shoulder till I find the cure for getting older.

Suddenly I felt old!!! Now I know at 26, I’m not old.  But I sang these words 8 years ago! The song talks about not slowing down and being ready to move on to what’s next. In a way that’s what I’ve been doing. I went off to college in Portland, I got married, started working in ministry alongside my husband, bought a house, got a dog. Life keeps moving!  However, unlike the writer of this song, I do stop and look over my shoulder from time to time. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go. I’m thankful for the memories I have. I’m even more thankful I’m still making memories with friends from that period of time in my life.  There are people in my life who knew me deeply then and still know me deeply now. That is a gift I cherish!

So I might have been reliving those moments, those high school glory days as I drove to dinner last night with the music blaring in my car. They were good times. I keep thinking of the line “all the days we’ve been traveling together” – God has definitely been at the steering wheel guiding me. Some of the passengers in the car are newer friends, but some of them have been there a long time. Even though it might seem like those days are forever ago, I know they are sweet memories I choose to hold on to. I also know that I’m not done yet. Even if I’m not driving my trusted Malibu, there will be lots of deep conversations in the car and lots of singing at the top of my lungs. I can see God’s hand on all the days behind me and all the days still before me! I’m buckled up and ready to go!

 

Just a little different April 18, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:21 am

All this personality and gifts assessing reminds me how truly different we all are. No one is exactly alike. God has wired us all different! Sometimes I think God might have mixed up a few wires, because I often compare myself others and desire to be different. However, God is good at reminding me who I am. He won’t let me forget that he made me on purpose.  I guess I better trust with all of me – even the weird stuff!

I’ve been formulating this blog in my head the last couple days and really trying to pin down the strange sides of my personality that you may or may not know. This is a small glance in the very unique creation God made when he created Amy Scott. Here we go:

  • I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but I don’t like odd numbers. They rub me the wrong way. I love even numbers. They make me happy. Why? I have no idea!
  • I don’t eat breakfast, but if there is chocolate cake in the house then that will be my breakfast of choice! Yum!
  • In an ideal world, I would get up around or after 9:00am and go to bed sometime around or after midnight. I’m a night owl, but I’ve had to learn to curb my tendencies so I’m well rested and nice to people in the mornings.
  • I would rather get lost in a book than in the mall – shopping is not one of my favorite things.
  • I usually only go clothing shopping twice a year. Once for fall/winter clothes and again for spring/summer.  Why go shopping over time when I can do it all at once and get it out of the way!
  • I like to start Christmas shopping in October.
  • I used to collect things when I was growing up (i.e. Cherished Teddies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, stuffed animal monkeys), but now I’m very anti-collection and anti-clutter. Apart from a few pictures, I don’t display personal things in my house.
  • I love Hostess products! Twinkies, ding dongs, crumb donuts, cherry pies! Yes, please!
  • I have to sleep with all the doors in my room closed.
  • I can’t picture things in my head very well (this frustrates me a lot) – like imagine this room with (insert changes) or picture this wall gone… It hurts my head.
  • I don’t like to get wet. Everyone jokes when I say this about how I shower everyday – that is different. I love being clean, I just don’t like being wet. So swimming isn’t high on my list of fun things, I also can’t stand being in wet clothes. It’s the grossest feeling ever.
  • I always lock doors – safety first!
  • If I’m home alone while watching a movie or reading a book – I will usually sob over happy endings or touching moments. Not so much when I have an audience!
  • I order the same 2-3 menu items at certain restaurants. I almost never try something new. At some places I only order one thing and that is it.

Those are the few things that make me who I am. I know I have ton more that I haven’t listed. If anything, I want to remind us all that we are weird. No one is normal. God made us this way on purpose. Instead of spending your energy trying to be someone else, free yourself and be yourself!

 

 

My Seven: Words to LIVE by April 17, 2012

Filed under: Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am

Okay, for those of you who have followed my blog at all know one thing – I LOVE words! They make me happy! When written down, they are the way I most preferred to express myself. They are my friends. Now imagine this: 373 words on a list. I am told to circle any word that stands out to me. This means I make friends with 176 of them.

Now I have to take my list done to 50…then 25…12…10…8…7!!! At this point, I’m almost crying! I’m kind of joking, but not really. It was like killing friends. Each one hurt to cross off my list. This was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time.  The bright spot was I was allowed to add one word back on to my list. Thus, my seven! My words! These words define my core values!  Ready for them?

  1. Acceptance – I’ve always felt a little different. I often feel on the outside (for various reasons). I have a strong desire for acceptance – to be seen as me and accepted for me. I’m also a strong advocate for acceptance in my ministry. I want the environments I create to be one of acceptance.
  2. Compassion – This is my heart for ministry right here. I know I have been called by God to serve the church and the world. Through compassion I see my calling. I love people and I want to make a difference in their life. I am moved by their struggles and their pain. I was told you can’t have compassion without passion. I am passionate about loving people and doing something about it!
  3. Courage – Now if you look at me, I’m not sure you would say “She’s one courageous lady”, but let me tell you, my life hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would. In a lot of ways, God has set me on a different path than I expected. Each step in accepting this calling involved lots of courage. God still has dreams awaking in my heart and I know they will involve courage.
  4. Encouragement – Back to the spiritual gifts I mentioned yesterday, this is up there for me. I want to be source of encouragement to people. I want to strengthen them and help them through life. I want to be a place people can turn to for support.
  5. Integrity – Thanks to great leaders in my life at a young age, I’ve been told the importance of integrity. I have been poured into by people of integrity and I want to live up their legacy.  Integrity is essential! It’s so core – thus, it’s one of my core value. Integrity isn’t just important to me, but I hold high standards for those I love. I want to help call out integrity in those around me.
  6. Joy – I crave joy! One prayer that I seem to come back to is – Lord, give me more joy! I want to be a joyful person. I worry that the weight of the world will squelch my joy. I get so overwhelmed that I have to fight for my joy. I have also learned that I am the biggest killer of my joy.  I am making changes in my thinking so that way my joy doesn’t leave. I need joy!
  7. Vision – I know that I have not arrived. I will never be perfect or complete on this side of heaven. While I’m not a visionary, I know that I need to have a vision for my future. I need to know what I’m working towards – what is the vision and how am I making it happen? Without vision life is not worth living. Honestly, life without vision is just movement. I’m always seeking God for what’s next! He is my vision supplier and I will courageously follow him. Wherever He leads!

The word that I got to add back was balance. Marshall Snider (our conference speaker, along with his wife, Lesley) told us this wasn’t necessarily a part of our core value words, but it was more a word we aspire to. I can see how that truly fits with balance. I’m so worried that my ministry lifestyle will lead to a lifestyle that isn’t balanced. How do I balance my calling and my passion with my marriage and future family? I often worry about my future children and if they’ll resent parents in ministry. Balance has always been so important to me. I desire healthy boundaries. Balance – just like joy, I crave it.

Marshall said that people would be able to see our core values in us. He also said that stories will be attached them. People will see me living my values and be able to tell me stories about how they see it in me. I can already see my own stories fitting into these values. If you know me and one of these values sparks a story, do you mind sharing it with me? I’m really solidifying these words in my life and stories will help do that. I love these words. They mean a lot to me. I’m excited to build them into my core and to be me through them. I hope they shed some light on how I work and what means a lot to me.

PS – Does anyone else think it’s cool that Marshall had us choose seven words? Seven seems to be following me! I’m warming up to the number even though it is odd (I am strange and only like even numbers).